What's going on here?
FORCED MATE was written as a light-hearted (but intelligent) futuristic interpretation of the Graeco-Roman myth of Persephone who was abducted by the dark god Dis (or Hades) and carried down into the underworld.
Instead of being abducted by a grim Greek god, the heroine -- Djinni-vera Persephone Berengaria Caissa Scheherazade Igraine (all her names are predictions)-- is abducted by the extremely powerful and notorious alien Prince Tarrant-Arragon who passes himself off as a god in his own world.
Prince Tarrant-Arragon has spent half his sexually active life searching the galaxies for the mate of his dreams: a distant cousin who can invigorate the royal bloodlines, and restore lost psychic abilities to the Imperial gene pool. Djinni (short for Djinni-vera, pronounced
Although he is pure alpha-wolf, and lives by the Machiavellian motto "by stealth if possible, by force if absolutely necessary,"
Because he is an alien and not used to obeying traffic laws , he has hired an English mercenary (Grievous) to be his chauffeur and tour guide.
Djinni's half-alien system is better than he expects. She is pretending to be asleep and waiting for her enemies to make a mistake.....
Djinni felt the odds, at four to one, were heavily against her, but improving. Two things were in her favour. First, her kidnappers were so over-confident they were likely to be careless. Second, in their carnival mood it wouldn't occur to them that a female could be a force to be reckoned with.
Eyes closed, feigning sleep--which wasn't easy now that her clumsy abductor was carrying her uphill over rough ground--she strained her senses for clues that might tell her where they were going.
Four sets of feet swished through coarse grass, stirring up scents: the warm whiff of cattle, the pungency of dog fox on the damp evening air, squelching mud. Then, there was the human named Grievous's very male account of local pagan practices.
"Sir, I daresay you've heard that this is a site of an Earth-force that makes animals and women fertile and healthy--"
Does he think of nothing else? Djinni thought.
"I expect you'd like to know the history of the place. Orgies and what-not," Grievous continued. "I don't suppose you'd be interested in the rumour that couples who visit the Cerne Giant are blessed with marital happiness. Not you, sir."
So that's where they were! But why? Djinni had seen aerial photographs of the hill-figure at Cerne Abbas in Dorset. The Cerne Giant was prehistoric pornography: a hugely aroused male nude, ditch-drawn into the white clay beneath a grassy hillside.
"Mind!" Grievous's voice sharpened. "On your left. Barbed wire fence, meant to discourage people from trampling on the Cerne Giant's person. We'll step over it. Watch out for a ditch."
Grateful for a warning, Djinni let her face roll into the hollow of her captor's shoulder.
"That ditch should be our Giant's left outer thigh. Is everyone over? More history anon, sir. It's time for accuracy. Anyone spot a second ditch? Uphill, to our left, curving towards us. We're looking for His Mightiness's grassy gonads, lads."
He lowered his voice, "Legend has it, a virgin who sleeps on our Cerne Giant will give her proud husband a fine brood of children. But, as I mentioned at the last rest-stop, a girl's got to still be a virgin, and she can't just lie any-old-where.
"Here we go!" Apparently Grievous had oriented himself. "Straight up, our Giant's privates cover thirty linear feet of hillside if you want to count his big grassy ones. Most do. Originally, he sported a twenty-two foot erection but the circle that used to be his belly-button was accidentally added to his manhood during a ditch scouring."
She felt a change in her abductor's gait.
"No, no, sir. Better leave measuring to me. Where was I? Scouring? Every seven years they clear the trenches of weeds. Otherwise, our Giant's outlines couldn't be seen. That's twenty feet. Should be about right. Here, put her on this, sir."
Djinni felt herself being eased to the ground onto a coarse wool blanket that smelled of spilled instant coffee, and the cheap-cigarette smoker who'd thoughtfully brought along the blanket, presumably from the boot of his car.
"Now, sir, you might be wondering if it's pure happenstance that the Earth-force is most potent where the head of our Giant's manhood used to be. As I understand it, many invisible lines of magnetic force come together and form a spiral--"
He was talking about "blind springs" and she was on one! She recognized the Earth force, the Chi, beneath her. Feelings of health, vitality and confidence flowed through her.
How to escape? Djinni's mind took on the clarity of crystal. She couldn't take out all four of the men with her bare hands, but she might fell one. Not the sex-mad one, but if he were fool enough to move away, she'd have a chance...and he was a very great fool to have placed her on a powerful blind spring.
"There's a mystery about this hill-figure, sir," Grievous was saying. "Who's the Cerne Giant supposed to represent? Some say he's Helis, a god of health and fertility. Mind you, any of the old gods could qualify as that: most of them were excessively fond of the ladies. Some did their seducing in a stealthy sort of way, in disguises, others were all but rapists."
"You interest me extraordinarily, Grievous."
Djinni's abductor spoke like a knife in silk. No threat could have communicated "Be-silent-or-else" as effectively as the soft menace of his compliment.
She'd had time to consider why his voice was so unsettling. He turned certain words into a growl, or a sinister purr. It was partly his Royal Shakespeare Company enunciation of hard last consonants, as if lives depended upon his words being understood. Perhaps they did.
Then, too, he deepened his tone on long-drawn-out last syllables turning them into inappropriate caresses, like a tiger licking the gazelle beneath him in the long grass.
"Er, quite so, sir." Grievous sounded shaken. "As I was about to say, a lot of people like to think our Giant is Hercules, on account of his notched club. Further up the hill, to your left, sir. Of course, you can't see it from the ground."
Whoever Grievous was, Djinni thought, he was good value as a tour guide. The other males in the party seemed to think so too, judging by the encouraging grunts whenever he paused.
"I prefer the theory that he's Saturn, whom we Brits also called Kronos. He's the god who castrated his father with a sickle and tidily put the evidence in a sack."
Appreciative male grunts.
"Why do I think our Giant is Saturn? Well, in 700 A.D., Saint Augustine came to Cerne and piled up a great deal of dirt over something that was supposed to be dangling from our Giant's other hand. What, you might wonder, could be more troubling to the holy saint than our Giant's monumental male erection? Perhaps you'd care to see the mystery mound, sir?"
Yes! Go! Djinni had never attempted mind-control before.
"Watch her!" her captor growled.
She heard him stride off, but waited until she could gauge how far voices would carry on the evening air.
Her dark voiced abductor murmured something that Djinni couldn't quite make out.
"Never do, sir. We've enough local legends and controversies without putting it about that His Mightiness is your ancestor--" Grievous's objections to gods from outer space grew faint. They were far enough away.
Djinni slitted her eyes and turned her head to locate her guard. He was standing downwind of her, heavily-muscled legs apart, back towards her. She heard a splash, and realized that he was vandalizing the Cerne Giant's trenching in uniquely male disrespect. The Schwarzenegger-sized alien was in no position to fight back. She was in no mood to be chivalrous.
Djinni advanced in a power-building crouch. She focused her strength and braced herself. She dared not use the karate Kiai cry which would have added psychic force to her attack. It was essential to incapacitate him quietly.
She struck, stomping on the relaxed side of his right knee. The blow might cripple a nerve bundle or dislocate a joint. All she needed was to make him double over.
He crumpled. His head came down, and she drove her elbow into his neck. She felt the resistance of alien musculature, but he fell: her attack was enough to temporarily paralyze him.
Djinni turned, and ran.
Tarrant-Arragon felt remarkably god-like as he surmounted the mound. He closed his eyes, spread his arms, and prayed. Or more accurately, as one feared as a god in his own worlds, he extended professional courtesy to the local deities.
He'd do almost anything to improve his chances of a happy marriage, and to ensure that his future Empress was the first in three generations who did not run away. He didn't mind having his time wasted --within reasonable limits. But he was not prepared to be made to look like a romantic fool.
As an after-thought, he thanked the God of gods, the Great Originator, for Djinni.
Tarrant-Arragon glanced down at Grievous, who was discreetly kicking the base of the saint's mound. The Earthling acted as though they were on a pleasure-foray. Which was good. It was an embarrassing business. By coming to the Cerne Giant, he'd tacitly admitted that, apart from frequent, vigorous sex, he didn't know what a male was expected to do to make his mate happy.
He doubted that he knew any happy couples. Happy Tigron lords had the sense not to bring beloved mates to their Emperor's Court. However, he hoped the site held enough Earth power to make her happy and counter any curse-power in the Saurian toasts.
Remembering how his shy mate-to-be had blushed as she unknowingly drank to his impotence, Tarrant-Arragon felt his smile crinkle the corners of his eyes. It was ironic that circumstances obliged him to conduct his sex life like a military campaign.
Oh, yes! He was definitely going to enjoy doing his dynastic duty with Djinni. He looked down the hill, and in disbelief he saw his gentle girl launch an efficient attack on Storm-Master Xirxex.
The warrior in him appreciated her tactics. The male in him didn't like it. A male should protect his mate. It was an insult to his machismo that she should flee his protection.
Stand and submit! For an instant he considered halting her flight with Djinn-craft. However, the consequences could be fatal if he revealed himself to her as the last of the Great Djinn, Tarrant-Arragon, The Terror of the Dodecahedrons.
He calculated distances. Mathematically she couldn't make it out of the field. Tarrant-Arragon let her run and ran himself, at an angle, to intercept her.
Ah! the exhilaration of the chase. Intent on swift, silent recapture, Tarrant-Arragon hurled himself down the hill. He'd never--literally--run after a female before. Perhaps he should have. The excitement far outweighed the indignity of the pursuit.
He raced, confident of catching her, revelling in the certainty of mating.
Physical pursuit. Marvellous exercise. Primal courtship! If running felt this good in Earth's light-heady atmosphere, this night's mating would be sensational.
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